Senior guard Jordan Mathews tied for a team-high 13 points, including a game-deciding three-pointer to help lead the No. 1 seed Gonzaga Bulldogs to a 61-58 win over the No. 4 seed West Virginia Mountaineers in the West Regional semifinals on March 23 in San Jose, Calif.

The win sends Gonzaga (35-1) to the Elite Eight round for only the third time in school history.

West Virginia guard Jevon Carter (2) drives to the basket as Gonzaga forward Zach Collins (32) defends during the first half of an NCAA Tournament college basketball regional semifinal game Thursday, March 23, 2017, in San Jose, Calif. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

Gonzaga was known this season for its high-scoring offense, but it took the Bulldogs surviving a tough defensive battle to advance to the regional final. Only 34 total shots were made in the game, and more than 50 fouls were called as both teams played extremely physically. 

Junior guard Jevon Carter was the only player for West Virginia to score double digits with a game-high 21 points. 

Gonzaga, however, had four players score double-digit points. Junior forward Johnathan Williams, senior center Przemek Karnowski and Jordan Mathews each scored 13 points; Mathews nailed a three-pointer to give the Bulldogs the lead with less than a minute left in regular play. 

West Virginia had a chance to tie the score with three open looks at the basket, but missed all three shots. 

Gonzaga will face No. 11 Xavier in an Elite Eight West Regional Finale matchup on Saturday, March 25.

In other NCAA Tournament action:

West Region:

  • No. 11 Xavier beat  No. 2 Arizona, 73-71

Midwest Region:

  • No. 3 Oregon beat No. 7 Michigan, 69-68 
  • No. 1 Kansas beat No. 4  Purdue, 98-66

Perry Green

AFRO Sports Editor